Does Foreign Aid Make a Difference? A Critique from a Civil Society Organisation in Lesotho

Johnson Lineo

Abstract


Lesotho is a country plagued by underdevelopment and poverty. This paper is a case study of an indigenous community organisation in the northern district of Botha-Bothe in Lesotho. Boseele is a rural development organisation which attracted international donor investment in the aftermath of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. The study aims at investigating the impact of capacity development processes. In this paper it is understood and interpreted to refer to multi-level analysis of contributing complexities affecting non-formal community education. Education is a contributing factor in community development. Alan Rogers’ developmental basic model to change interrogates the realities of empowerment theory against power dynamics and complexities, including foreign aid interventions in non-formal community education. A case study approach was used within a qualitative research design. Data were collected through individual and group interviews, observations, story-telling and transect walks. The results were analysed through thematic, chronological, narrative and document analysis. The study identified capacity-building landmarks over a period of ten years. Boseele’s successes with Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) funding reflect positive foreign aid contributions towards the work of civil society organisations in Lesotho, and the impact of community education and its multiplier effects. However, setbacks and lack of continuity by a nursery project funded by MS-Lesotho shows that the empowerment process is compromised where social and economic problems of individual members of civil society organisations and communities are not fully addressed. The funding intervention by the European Union posed challenges faced by short-term funding models for community education, its continuity and sustainability in particular and community development in general.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n20p1168


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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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